chrome ball interview #47: drake jones

Originally conducted for Already Been Done Magazine. 

April 12, 2011


So Drake, why’d you do it, man? Why’d you retire? Was your heart just not in it anymore? What was your reason for walking away?

Wow! Starting this interview off with a bang, huh? Isn't that like the ender question? All good, let's do this... (laughs)

I don't believe there is just one reason why I left the skate scene the way I did, that's just the way it was supposed to happen, I guess. But here's a few just for the record: never having my true friends around anymore... or not even knowing who my real friends actually were, for that matter. Not being able to ride for my dream company. Having wack photographers telling me to do lame tricks and not respecting my idea of what tricks I’d like to do. Forgetting the reason why I even started skateboarding in the first place…

You know, stuff like that.

What’s your dream company that you wanted to ride for?

Blind Skateboards.

Another reason I walked away is because I was just such a perfectionist with it. I always criticized my tricks way too hard and couldn't handle something not being absolutely perfect in my eyes. I hated landing anything even remotely sketchy. Nothing ever felt good enough.

Do you stand by your decision to walk away? Seems like you had so much more left to do! A lot of people miss your skating, myself included.

I have no regrets when it comes to walking away from professional skateboarding. At the time, skating had become a job for me, which was something that I felt was never supposed to happen.

And over the years, new hobbies have come along and replaced skating for me. I just had such big-time OCD about my tricks back then, it didn’t allow me to enjoy skating at all anymore. My brain was too preoccupied with worrying about everything.

But now, I’m stoked to go out skating. I’m actually waiting on a box to come right now.

So how did you first get introduced to skating and all that? And I’ll be honest, in doing the research for this, I could find very little background on you… like, I don’t even know where you’re from.  

Well, I was born in San Francisco but my parents divorced when I was 13. After that, I moved to White Plains, New York to live with my Dad.

I started skating when I was 12 or 13... basically just totally rebelling against my parents. I remember seeing my friends skate a jump ramp after school one day and I wanted to give it a try. I think my first board was a pink Tony Hawk mini with boneite. (laughs)

But how does a dude in White Plains get sponsored by a relatively small West Coast company like Think? Was that through sponsor-me videos, perhaps?

Well, my mom still lived in the Bay Area. I would go out and visit her over the summer and winter breaks.

It just so happened that one day while I was out there, I was skating the Pacifica Bus Station with my friend Noah when some old slasher-looking dude rolled through. He started skating there with us for a little bit and after a while, we started talking. I remember him asking me a bunch of questions and eventually, he said that he’d like to give me some product. It turned out to be Keith Cochrane, owner of Think Skateboards.

I was stoked! And getting packages in the mail? That’s a feeling I will never forget. It’s like Christmas morning every time!

So yeah, I was on Think flow for the entire time that I was going to high school in New York, until I moved back out to Cali after graduation.

So you kinda had a bit of head-start on SF before you moved out permanently...

Yeah, I got to skate EMB and all of the video spots during those summers out there, back when I was in high school. Skating around with Tim McKenney, who was always a friend of mine. We got to meet a few of the locals, too… even though Karl Watson was just about the only one who would give us the time of day. And even then, it was either just to say what’s up or make fun of me. (laughs)

Like what?

I remember Karl always having something to say about my dyed hair or the big, oversized clothes I was wearing from my local New York sponsors. But it was all in good fun. You know how Karl is.

But SF skaters were always so far ahead of everyone else back then. Doing all of these different tricks that I’d never even seen before. I remember having to learn them over the summer while I was out there, before coming back to New York and showing my friends everything I’d seen out west.

So, of course, when I got out of high school and had the chance to move out there permanently, I was down.

But SF was particularly vicious back then with the vibes, did you ever feel the sting of being labelled a “T-Dog” or did skating for Think give you a pass?

I still am a T-Dog! (laughs)

Yeah, EMB was the coolest of the cool and the baddest of the bad. But once you were down with those guys, nobody could fuck with you and that’s for real. I’d like to thank all those heads for looking after me.

But no, I never got it too bad. I think you’re right, being on Think probably did help me out some. This is back when I had the Think lightbulb tattooed on my wrist... I remember Greg Carroll used to hold my arm up and yell “Think for life!” across Embarcadero.

Do you still have that tattoo?

Nah, I switched it up. It’s my initials now, “DJ” in Olde English…. Phew! (laughs)

But those were good times, man. EMB forever. Gone but not forgotten.

You definitely got down at Embarcadero but you had a ton of coverage at Pier 7, too... you still prefer Embarcadero?  In your own words, what is it about those rough-ass bricks that remains so sacred?

Embarcadero was just old school to me, man. It was way bigger, too, and had more stuff to skate. I did like Pier 7, though. I feel like that spot was for all the new locals who were starting to bring a different flavor to the city.... I remember Woody Harrelson coming through Pier 7 to talk about Hemp wear. That was crazy! But he supported our skating, which was cool.

For me, Pier just had too many tourists walking around. Even when it wasn’t a bust, I’d always have to film there early in the morning so people wouldn’t get in my way. I’m talking having super early, to where there were maybe only a few people jogging or couple of guys on bikes.

Not to say that people didn’t kill Pier 7 with the mannies, I just always felt like it was too small of a place to have that many skaters there. It could get crowded quick.

You seemed to run all the classic spots back in the day with clips at EMB, Wallenberg, Brown Marble… damn near the whole city. What was your personal favorite spot back then, as well as one that you were never really feeling?

Black Rock is one my all-time favorites. Because if you skated all the way around that building, there were like 5 completely different spots to skate.

Brown Marble was always the dream spot but it was always a bust. You could only really skate a certain part of it and even then, only for so long. If you skated that long ledge by the window, security would see you and then you had beef. You had to be quick about it.

Those were all fun but I’d say the Cardiel street gap at night with my crew was always the best. Just hauling ass and doing tricks over that thing was a total rush, man.

As far as a spot that I wasn’t really feeling, Union Square was cool until one night when I got jacked by two guys with a gun. They got Jamie Thomas’ camera that I had borrowed as well as my chain. Luckily, someone was able to track down a cop and they ended up with catching the guys... Finally, cops coming in handy for skaters. It can happen! I got back everything back!

How’d you first meet Jamie Thomas? He always claims that you were one of the few EMB heads that really befriended him. What was it that made you take up for him?

I honestly don’t know how I first met Jamie, but yeah, sometimes I would stand up for the guy when nobody else would. Not that I also did so. I can’t act like I was a hero every time, because there were definitely sometimes when I didn’t. Embarcadero and San Francisco, as a whole, was not the easiest place for someone like Jamie to fit in, but he still never backed down. He never gave up.

Last I heard, he owns a few skate companies and has a family, living in the beautiful San Diego hills. So I hope he’s able to only remember the good times he had in SF. He and Sean Young both did some amazing skating back then and I’m lucky that I got to see a lot of it go down, firsthand.

We did have a bit of a falling out back in the day. When you’re young and way too cool, you have falling outs with friends... sometimes, for good reasons. Other times, for no good reason at all. That’s something I’ve learned over the years and I apologize for that, Jamie. Things got a little crazy between us after Experience.

Yeah, you were on Think for a while but then went through this crazy period there where you were on-then-off Experience really quick… What all was going on with you at the time? What happened with Think?

Well, not too long after I got out to SF, I got bumped up from flow to being fully on Think. And I was stoked. I started to get photos in the mags and things were feeling really good. Think even gave me some lame-ass half-pink/half-green “Drake Jones Rave Balls” wheels. (laughs)

Yeah, I was actually gonna ask about those....

I mean, I did go to my fair share of raves back in the day, but the only reason I even got that wheel was because nobody else on the team wanted them. So they gave them to me and I got a few extra bucks for a month or two… Jamie even kept a set of those for a while. Thanks, Thomas! (laughs)

I actually got kicked off of Think for shopping around. This was right around the time that they had just turned new jack Scott Johnston pro for them. That didn’t sit very well with me. Scott had only been on the team for a short time and still went pro before me. I remember riding his first Think pro model, which had this sick mosaic pattern on it, when I just started to think about how I really didn’t feel like filming on this thing anymore. So I hopped on the Haight bus, got off at FTC and traded all my Think product for World Industries stuff. I had a trade a deck, some wheels and a few other things, just to get a Tim Gavin board.

I started shopping around shortly after that. Like I said earlier, I always wanted to ride for Blind... still do! So I was constantly looking to get hooked up with World. Jovontae used to always watch me skate at EMB over the years. I must’ve heard him say numerous times, “I’m calling Rodney right now! I’m gonna get you a box!”

Never happened.

But it wasn’t long after I traded in all of my Think stuff at FTC that Greg Carroll found out that I was shopping around. He came right down to Embarcadero and kicked me off the team because of it. All good.

So how did you get hooked up with Experience? Did that just come about through being down with JT?

(laughs) It’s so weird with these Experience questions... I was talking with Joey Bast the other night about doing this interview and we figured that if you weren’t in the Bay Area scene back then, most skaters probably didn’t even know about that company.

But yeah, I wasn’t on Think anymore, obviously. And because I was hanging out with Jamie anyway, I went on an Experience tour with him and Sean Young. Not even on the team, just driving cross-country in Jamie’s ride. We made it all the way out to DC and were having a great time, but by the time we got down South, things had started to turn kinda bad. I ended up flying home from Alabama instead of riding back with Jamie in the car. I made some kind of lame excuse... I actually think it was because I wanted to watch the NBA Playoffs or something. But on my way out, Jamie asked if I wanted to ride for Experience and I told him that I would.

I only rode for Experience for a little bit. I remember having an ad for them 360 flipping that Cardiel Street Gap we were just talking about. Down on Grant Street, near Chinatown. I was hanging out with Jamie a lot back then and we had some really great times skating down there... Late night at Union Square, because it was close to where we were crashing in the Tenderloin.

I did turn pro for them. That played a big part in my choosing to ride for them, I know that they were gonna give me a board. My first graphic was a rip-off of the Jane’s Addiction “Nothing’s Shocking” album cover, we called it Jones’ Addiction. That’s one of my top five favorite graphics because I always loved that band... I always loved choosing my graphics, too. I even had my girl do a few for me, back when I was on Real.

Jamie was a huge influence on my skating at the time. I feel like most things that I did back then were largely because Jamie pushed me into doing it, even if I was kinda scared. I’d already left the skate scene by the time everyone started calling him “Chief” but I totally understand why. Because he would just put you on blast until you eventually folded and did whatever it was that he’d been trying to talk you into doing. Those were some fun times. (laughs)

We had a falling out because I ended up quitting Experience without telling anybody. Jim Thiebaud had approached me one day at Embarcadero about starting to ride Deluxe boards and I was into it. Not even Real, I was actually wanting to ride for Fun or even Stereo back then... because I was always down with Lavar. Ron Allen was the man, too.

Fun over Real?

Actually, I always felt like Fun could’ve been the Plan B of San Francisco back in the day. Ron had all of the best skaters on his team. I wanted on, too, but that shit got shut down.  

So yeah, I actually ended up getting on Real as an amateur, even though Experience had just put out my first pro board. But with how I left Experience, they were bummed and things got real bad between us. And so, somehow, Experience ended up putting a second pro model out of mine with some pretty demeaning graphics. All of this was done without my knowledge, but it said “Flake Jones” on the top with “SF Hearts Me” on the bottom.

…Man, I wish I had one of those boards! (laughs)

That was their reaction to your leaving? How’d you find out?

(laughs) I had no idea that they even came out with that until I saw this crazy board in a CCS catalog! And no, I didn’t think it was funny at all back then. I actually confronted Roger, the owner of Experience, about that board at Embarcadero one day. I was screaming at him but he wouldn’t get out of his car... so I started kicking his car door in and tried to break his window out. He finally just took off. He said that he was gonna call the cops but I was so heated, I didn’t even care.

Luckily, Karl talked me into bouncing because he knew that I was probably gonna get arrested if I stuck around. I’d made too big of a scene.

We never really squashed that beef, either. A short time afterwards, Experience went under and it just never got talked about after that.

Back then, getting clowned was the worst thing that could ever happen to you. It comes from being young, I guess. Bruising someone’s ego to make your own ego grow. I usually don’t let it bother me these days, there was just always so much shit going down back then. Somebody was always having beef with somebody else. That’s just what happens when you have a bunch of young kids growing up together. It was a lot like high school back then… even though a lot of us never even finished school, unfortunately. Skateboarding was our last resort. I’m sure this same thing is still going on today.

I tell you another bummer from early on in my career is when I finally got to go out and shoot pictures for the first time with my favorite photographer, Tobin Yelland. We went out and shot a backside flip tailslide at Wallenberg one day and when it finally comes out... boom! A full-page color spread in Transworld! I was so hyped, right?... Until I read the fine print. The caption read something like, “Drake Jones doing a b/s 180 kickflip tailslide and Drake Jones is not from San Francisco.”

I remember that.

Such a weird thing to write in a caption! And what does that even mean?

But back then, it was all about being down. And that caption definitely bummed me out. Because I was actually born in SF! I wasn’t a transplant! I just had to leave for a while...

What about that switch tre down the Big 3 in the Spitfire Video. Such a classic clip.

That Spitifre Vid was the best, man. I even got my boy Kelly Haugen in there with a smooth ass switch pop shove-it for my part. (laughs)

But yeah, that switch tre. I gotta thank my man Lil’ D for not turning off the camera that morning. Danny was his name and he lived with Brian Young at the time. I would imagine that I probably crashed at their house the night before because we had to wake up early in the morning to film that. Embarcadero was starting to become a big bust by then.

The thing was, I had already done it the day before, we just didn’t film it. I think you can hear someone say that in the clip, after I broke my board.... I was super mad after I broke that board, too. Because I really wanted to film that for my part.

You can also hear local lurker Smooth Smurf in the background, offering to let me use his board. But I was so mad, I just shook him off. I remember going back for another try and telling myself that I was gonna have to make it this try... and next thing you know, I’m feeling the bricks underneath my wheels as I ride away. I was so hyped, man. I still remember how good that felt.

Special thanks to Sean Sheffey for his influence on my skateboarding and trick selection. Heelflip crooked grinds and switch tres, that was all because of him!

Your Nonfiction part remains one of my all-time favorites. Talk a little about that one...

Nonfiction was a weird time for me, to be honest. Because I’d been on so many shoe companies and clothing companies… and I didn’t like any of them. So I just started trading shoe packages around for other shoes and eventually started buying regular shoes to skate in. So, not only was I not making any money from any clothing or shoe sponsors, I was actually spending money. But that’s when I started to get some photos in the Nike GTS.

Yeah, you seemed to be running those pretty hard at the time. Shelltoes, too.

Yeah, they were sweet but they’d only last about a week or so. And since Adidas was only giving guys like J. Lee and Gonz shoes back then, I had to buy Shelltoes in the Fillmore instead.

You spoke early about being so critical of your skating, were you pleased with your part?

At the Real premiere for Nonfiction, it didn’t feel very good, like people thought that I didn’t have a very good part. I mean, people said it was good but it felt more like they were just being cordial. Maybe it got more attention than I realized? I don’t know… and no, I didn’t choose that song. I don’t think any of the riders did.

It’s funny because I really didn’t feel any pressure while I was out filming for that part, which I probably should’ve as it was a pretty important project for me, being for my board sponsor and all… I probably just didn’t think that it would be my only board company part, either. But it’s all good.

I feel like Nonfiction was little over a year to make, if that long. But it’s kinda crazy to think about how long video parts from back then seemed to last in skating. I never once thought about how that part was going to look like now, all these years later. I was just skating, you know?

Nonfiction was a good video, though. I always felt like Joey Bast should’ve got more props for his part than he did. I remember that he filmed, like, his 10 opening tricks all on the last day of filming. All bangers, too! …at least for our time they were. (laughs)

Lots of good times and laughs back then, for sure… that is, until the Real van got flipped on tour.

Yeah, I forgot that you were in the van for that one. How’d that go down? Crazy shit, man.

Yeah, we were on a Real U.S. tour with maybe two or three weeks to go. It’s Julien, Matt Field, Ben Liversedge, Mandoli, Gabe and I… I think somebody else. But we’re down south somewhere, about to leave town for our next demo further down south.

Shawn takes the wheel. And on the way out of town, we decide to stop just outside of the city limits at this little donut shop. We all end up going in there but none of us actually buy any donuts… which is kinda weird, right? So we’re all hanging out in the parking lot for a quick sec before getting back on the road when someone walks outside with a skate mom, claiming that her son was at the demo and how hyped he was on the team.

Cool. We give her some stickers and sign some stuff, but she’s beer buzzing pretty hard… and leaves her car door open with her purse and a fresh box of a dozen donuts waiting inside. So someone ends up snagging the donuts without her knowing because she’s too busy getting groped and clowned on by us dirty skaters. But it was all in good fun… or so we thought.

So we’re getting on the freeway and Mandoli is bummed.

“Hey! You guys shouldn’t have stolen her donuts! God is gonna be mad at us for doing that!”

Shawn was really religious back then. He was actually getting ready to go to Bible College at the time. And I love ya, Shawn, but we still laughed at you for saying that. We’re just scarfing down these free treats in the back.

So we’re driving for a while. It’s probably around 1am. Ben Liversedge is in shotgun. Matt and I are in the first row of seats with Julien and Gabe in the way back. Between Matt and I is a boombox with Wu-Tang playing as we all fall asleep.

photo: niko

The second I close my eyes, I start to feel this bouncing up-and-down. I look up and we’re on the left shoulder of the road, stuck in cruise control while everyone else is asleep… including Shawn! I just start yelling!

“Shawn! Shawn! What are you doing!?!”

He wakes up to see us on the shoulder of the road and immediately turns the wheel to the right in order to get us back on the freeway, but we’re in cruise control! The van just takes off! Hard right. So now he has to jam it back to the left in order to not fly off the road again. But we end up overcorrecting and flipping the van onto its roof before bouncing back over onto our wheels again. As soon as we land, the van just takes off again because, somehow, the cruise control is still engaged. Now we’re taking off towards the opposite side of the freeway!

We end up crashing into a ravine. Next thing I know, I’m watching Shawn pick out windshield pieces out of the top of his head. He was the only one of us that was wearing his seatbelt that night... and I have to thank God that he was and nobody got seriously injured that night.

I still remember using my arms to brace myself from the roof and the sliding door that night, as we were flipping. No cell phones back then, either. So once we finally stopped in that ravine, we all just had to get out and walk up to the freeway and flag down help. Matt and I hugged each other, splitting cigarettes before riding away to the hospital. It was just all so crazy.  

Afterwards, we just hung out in some crap motel for a day or two, chilling by the pool before flying home to the Bay. And yes, I do apologize for us taking that lady’s donuts and eating them that night. Turns out, everything has a price... even “free” donuts.

So crazy, Drake. I remember that being fodder for a few Real ads back in the day... which speaking of, what was the story behind that classic ad with your hand holding the butterfly?

You’ll have to ask Joey Bast about that one. That ad was originally supposed to be for him but he wasn’t feeling it. And yeah, it was a little artsy-fartsy or whatever but I thought it was cool. I had a bunch of non-skate ads over the course of my career, which were always kinda fun. Almost like modeling, in a way.

Another stand-out ad from your tenure at Real, what about a fully winterized Drake Jones in Timboots flying over the SF Library gap? How’d that one go down? And for the record, what trick is that?

Yeah, the Timbos! It’s funny, I’ve had mad Timbo shoes over the years but never actually owned a pair of Timberland boots. The kicks in that picture were some black and blue Nike hiking boots.

And that’s a heelflip varial. It must’ve been about 80 degrees outside that day. I still have that photo, too. My favorite part about that ad is that it just says “skateboarding”. That’s it, nothing else. Because it doesn’t matter what you wear or where you got it from, that’s the beauty of skating. There’s no format to it. That’s why I never skated in contests, because I started skating to get away from being judged by others. It’s an artform, man. An expression of who you are.

So what led to your switch over to 23 with Sal and company? Why leave Real?

Honestly, the whole 23 thing just came from hanging out with Sal. He was coming to Frisco a lot to see his lady and we’re both car guys. He was rolling in a bad ass white Mustang and I was into soupin’ up imports. At the time, I had a Black Civic with 17” chrome wheels! “Black Death” was her name, until my girlfriend started calling her “Darth Vader”... shit was tight until it got jacked in the TL late one night. Cops found her three hours later on blocks in Oakland. She was never the same after that.

I had a couple of boards on 23. The “What Dreams Are Made Of” with the ghetto bicycle and that one cartoon graphic of me and my girl on a roller coaster? That one still makes me laugh. I don’t know if anymore came out before I got let go...

I did go on tour with the team one summer but I didn’t skate very much. I mostly just talked to the kids and played games of skate with locals. Now that SKATE is so cool these days, I maybe could’ve gotten away with it a little longer but back then, it was all about skating the demo “props”.

Years later, I ran into a skater who said that he’d seen me at a 23 demo. He put his finger in my face and said, “You didn’t even skate!”

That really hit me hard because he was just so bummed. It made me realize that every time you do something, you will always leave an impression. Good or bad. Right or wrong. Things to work on, ya know? But yeah, that still bums me out.

I just wasn’t hyped on skating as much anymore. Sal and I were kicking it, SF-style. Not really skating, just getting to be friends. But once I got on the team, it was all downhill. I don’t think anyone knew that I was thinking about leaving...

I know you were playing a lot of pool and eventually started getting deep into golf, leading all the way to the PGA tour as a caddie. When did all this stuff start to overtake skateboarding for you?

I’d been playing 9-Ball seriously for almost a solid year before receiving my last check from 23. Again, I wasn’t skating. Just playing pool. So they couldn’t have been too surprised.

After skateboarding, I just kept on playing pool and getting better. After a few years, I started traveling from SF to San Diego to play games and build my bankroll. I was actually supporting myself by gambling at different pool halls and tournaments for a while there. It was a great time, man. My plan was to start doing that professionally, until I started to realize that I couldn’t control what was steadily becoming a gambling addiction. It was starting to get to where I couldn’t even play for fun anymore. Just practicing all day so I could gamble at night. Eventually, I just had to sell my cue, man. I had to get out.

It was actually my friend who I used to play billiards with that took me to my first driving range. Out in San Francisco, just to hit balls one day. And after that, it was over. I never played golf growing up, but once I hit that first pure shot at the range, it quickly became all that I wanted to do. Every day.

Just like skating, golf is something that can be self-taught, and I did end up getting pretty good at it. Golf really is a lot of fun... even though the “playing for fun” thing didn’t last very long for me, either. I was actually heading back to school, so I joined my college’s golf team and kept it moving from there. 

So what are you doing now? I know you were over at Black Box for a minute... Still skate at all? Any chance of a comeback?

I currently caddie on the PGA and Nationwide Golf Tours. I also work at a local golf club when not on the road.

Black Box was another in the long list of jobs I’ve had over the years. But I was glad to have been there for a minute.

No skate comeback for this kid. I tend to stick to the idea that once something is finished for me, it truly is done. That doesn't mean that I won’t be back in the industry. I think there are some great qualities to this new generation and hope to become more involved with it in the upcoming year.

I’ve started skating more recently and will be working on a project documenting my skating and golf travels while on tour. It’s really only for myself and my Facebook friends... because I caddie for a living, I need my boss more than he needs me. Hopefully that will be reversed one day. (laughs)

You’re known for having one of the best styles in the game… especially in a time where style really wasn’t as important as it is now.

It’s funny because I feel like “style” is thought of a lot differently nowadays, compared to how it was back then. Back in the day, style meant how you did your tricks. But today, it seems to be more about how you wear your clothes. That’s weak.

True style will come back into skating once it gets its soul back. Unlike surfing, kids today only seem to skate as a way of getting sponsored and making money. Personally, I started skateboarding because I didn't feel that I could express myself in organized sports anymore... but now, skateboarding IS an organized sport! You might as well stick with baseball and play for the Giants. (laughs)

Oh well, times done changed and I can skate for fun and the love of it now. I don’t have to worry if someone thinks whatever is good enough to be in a mag or if it looks stylish... or just plain stupid cause I'm in a magazine skating in boots. Fuck you! That’s what skateboarding was to me.

Don't change your style to suit someone else’s idea of skateboarding. Don't change your pants and t-shirt because someone thinks it'll help "your career" If you think skating is hard, why not just go to college and get an education? I'm sure that's even harder. Let skateboarding return to its roots so it can be reborn again with the soul it lost long ago.

But I am glad to be remembered for something positive in skateboarding. Because Ocean Howell had a style... Jovontae had a style. Wade Speyer. Everyone who skates has a style, it just depends on if yours is more appealing to others than the next guy or girl. Back in the day, you could tell where a skater was from just by watching how they skated. Because of their style and trick selection. City kids versus San Diego kids.

Today, kids are just going so big that they look like they’re holding on for dear life. That’s just lame. It’s like stunt skating or something... but then you see someone who can go big with style and it’s like wow! I prefer a Chris Cole style to a Paul Rodriguez. Both are great skaters, but Chris always looks like he’s having fun and enjoying the flow of whatever is in front of him. Paul looks very formatted, like he learned how to skate by watching a video game. Like he was taught a certain way of doing tricks. They both do gnarly tech and big shit, but Cole’s style looks more natural to me. Learn the tricks the way you can and leave it at that. Faking it was barely cool for a minute.

What’s a trick that you could really never do so you just largely left it alone?

I always wished that I could do heelflips better. 

Alright, Drake, I can’t thank you enough for doing this. Is there anything you’d like to add before we close this out?

Just that progression is always in front of us, never behind us. I’d like to thank the skateboarding community for not only being a part of my life, but for being a part of who I am. And whatever direction skateboarding goes in the future, I am grateful and honored to be a part of its past. Peace.


Anonymous said...


Keith said...

super good E!

Damn that SJ for being so good 8)

I read an interview with Sascha Daley the other day and he mentions that Drake is the one who first hooked him up with Mystery. Good eye Drake!

Adams Selymes said...

Man, to me Drake has been one of those awe inspiring before going to session..I used to watchChurch of Skatan every single day just to listen Group Home at his small but sick skate part..and the Droors ad who remembers that? I remember having a picture on my wall from him on a bs ollie over a rail in SF with his black power hair..huge pants..sick photo from tws mag. My fav at all!

Unknown said...

Hey Chops, any chance you could upload the ABD interviews here? The site is now defunct and those interviews need to live on!

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